Dane Piedt five-for triggers New Zealand collapse to give South Africa handy lead

South Africa

Stumps New Zealand 211 (Williamson 43, Latham 40, Piedt 5-89, Paterson 3-39) trail South Africa 242 (De Swardt 64, O’Rourke 4-59) by 31 runs

Playing his first Test since 2019, Dane Piedt recorded his best figures in the format to put South Africa ahead on the second day in Hamilton. Offspinner Piedt picked up 5 for 89 as New Zealand collapsed to 211 in response to South Africa’s 242. At one stage, New Zealand were 143 for 3 but lost their last seven wickets within 68 runs to concede a lead of 31.

It started with quick bowler Tshepo Moreki dismissing Rachin Ravindra at the end of a seven-over spell bowled either side of tea. He slanted one across the left-handed Ravindra, who went for the cut and got an inside edge on to his leg stump.

A few moments later, Tom Blundell became the fourth batter on the day to play on. He was late to withdraw his defensive push against Dane Paterson; the ball hit the back of the bat and deflected on to the stumps.

Piedt, who had dismissed Tom Latham and Kane Williamson earlier, then sent back Glenn Phillips with a big offbreak. The batter got an inside edge on to his pad and wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin grabbed the chance.

Will Young, batting at No. 5 for the first time in Test cricket, was fighting it out. But with wickets tumbling at the other end, he ran out of patience. He skipped down the ground to Piedt and holed out to long-on.

Piedt could have had his fifth when Tim Southee edged one to first slip, but Shaun von Berg could not hold on to a low chance. Southee eventually fell to Paterson for 5.

A miscommunication resulted in Matt Henry being run out, leaving New Zealand 183 for 9, still 59 in arrears. But Neil Wagner smashed 33 off 27 to eat into the deficit, before Piedt had him stumped to complete his second five-for in Test cricket.

In the morning, South Africa could add only 22 to their overnight total of 220 for 6, losing their remaining wickets in just 8.2 overs. Debutant Will O’Rourke broke the stubborn seventh-wicket stand between Ruan de Swardt and von Berg when the latter edged one on to his off stump. The pair had accumulated 70 on Tuesday evening but could add only seven more to it.

At the other end, Piedt gloved a Southee bouncer down the leg side, with Blundell running in and diving forward to take a low catch.

Three overs later, O’Rourke had de Swardt playing on. The batter tried to defend a short-of-length delivery only to dab it on to his back heel. The ball went on to tickle the stumps and dislodge the bails. On the next ball, Paterson miscued a hoick giving O’Rourke figures of 4 for 59. He will be on a hat-trick when he bowls his first ball tomorrow.

New Zealand did not have a great start with the bat either – Paterson had Devon Conway caught behind for a duck in the first over of the innings. Latham and Williamson chose the defensive route against tidy bowling. At one point, Williamson was on 1 off 21, and the partnership 17 in 12.2 overs. The first boundary of the innings came in the 14th over when Williamson swept a short ball from Piedt over square leg for four.

At lunch, New Zealand were 27 for 1 in 16 overs. After the break, Latham and Williamson came out of their shells. Latham skipped down the ground to Piedt and launched him over long-on for a six, and Williamson pulled Paterson over midwicket before collecting another four off Piedt.

The characteristic of Williamson’s innings was his leg-side play; off his 43 runs, only two came on the off side. Overall, both he and Latham looked unhurried and did not mind a string of dot balls. Their 74-run stand was broken when Piedt got one to turn past Latham’s outside edge to hit the off stump.

Williamson hit two back-to-back fours off debutant von Berg but fell soon after, caught at short leg off Piedt. Ravindra and Young took the side to a strong position after that, but the collapse undid all the good work.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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